Harvesting Lemons from Your Garden
Lemon citrus has an amazing flavor, these citrus fruits are used in so many recipes and drinks to give that zesty taste. The lemon citrus is native to North-Eastern India and South Asia, these trees have the ability to produce 600 lbs of lemons year-round.
The more popular citrus lemons are Eureka, Lisbon lemons, and Meyer lemons. The leaves of this evergreen tree are popular in preparing all kinds of seafood, other cooked meats, and teas. What I also found to be amazing is it is believed that the lemon tree has been around since the first century AD now that’s a long time ago all the way back to the ancients.
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It is said that a lemon tree can live anywhere from 50-100 years meaning base on the time you plant your lemon tree may outlive you supplying citrus for your kids and grandkids. Lemons are high in vitamin C and are used for medical purposes. In this article, however, we will be looking at how to force a lemon tree to flower or blossom so you can reap a good harvest.
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Forcing a lemon tree to flower
The purpose of planting a lemon tree is to get lemons but what happens if your lemon tree is growing healthy with lots of beautiful leaves but no fruit to show, this can leave you bewildered or frustrated especially when you have put in all that work and looking for a harvest.
I must agree that sometimes a lemon tree may not produce fruits for that season because it is reserving its energy for the following year but what if year after year you are faced with the same issue it can’t be that your lemon tree is still resting because it is getting more than its share of rest so there may be some other underlying root cause which must be uprooted.
Getting to the root of the problem
Getting to the root of the problem will place you in a better position to help your lemon tree to flower providing you with a good harvest.
1. A sunny location
A sunny location is ideal for your lemon so ensure your lemon tree is planted in an area where it gets plenty of sunshine.
In order for fruit trees to produce juicy delicious fruits, they need pollination. The presence of wildlife such as bees and birds contributes to the pollination process also the wind plays an important part, planning where to install your lemon citrus will save you a lot of headaches like planting your tree near trees that get pollinated.
Fertilizers play a major role in the lives of garden plants and it is the same with lemon trees, boosting the soil’s pH acid level also the use of fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and phosphorus will influence your lemon tree to produce blossoms and fruits. Before applying fertilizers and lime to produce fruiting with your lemon tree read and follow the manufacturer’s label because the label is the law.
4. Pruning Methods
During the fall months remove dead branches, branches that are overgrown for your lemon tree to retain their natural form along with insect-infested wood. This annual pruning will help your lemon tree to produce more flower bloom with more fruit production.
5. Watering Methods
Lemon trees need their share of water to encourage flower bloom which will, in turn, produce lemons, never allow the soil to dry out or your lemon tree will suffer from drought. The soil should be evenly moist but not waterlogged which can lead to root rot.
6. The Temperature
The temperature plays a very important part in the life of a lemon tree if the temperature drops lower than 50 degrees will force your lemon tree to go dormant, while temperatures ranging anywhere from 75-100 degrees will keep your lemon tree growing and thriving. Temperatures that exceed 100 degrees will cause your tree not to grow. The temperature can and will affect the production of the lemon fruit.
7. Garden insect pest of lemon trees
Garden insect pests can also affect the production of quality lemons. Insects such as
- Spider Mites
Spider mites are very tiny but can cause huge damage to our garden plants, to know if your plants have spider mites look for spider webs along with your plants taking on a dusty appearance.
Spider mites cause yellowing of the leaves, removing the infested leaves along with leaves that are dead and applying insecticidal soap or horticultural oil will bring this garden insect pest under control
Scale insect is very tiny but can cause huge damage to your lemon tree. These garden insect pests remain motionless causing much damage, the body of scale insects is round and looks like and armor. Scales also cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids which contribute to the yellowing of the leaves, leaf drop, and sooty mold the use of insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or releasing beneficial insects into your garden area will eliminate them.
Mealybugs are very common among garden insects pest and feed on a host of garden plants. Mealybugs can be easily identified by a white waxy mealy covering that looks somewhat like cotton. These garden insect pests cause damage by sucking the plant’s fluids or sap, the use of insecticidal soap will bring them under control.
Aphids are small paired shape insects that cause damage by sucking the fluids or the sap from the plant’s leaves that cause the leaves to curl and turn yellow. These garden insect pests also cause black molds to form from their secretion which is a sticky sweet substance known as sooty mold that causes the plant to take on a dusty dirty sickly appearance. The use of insecticidal soap will bring these garden insect pests under control.
8. Keep a watch for these diseases which can also affect lemon tree production
- Citrus Blast
- Greasy Spots
- Foot Rot
- Sooty Mold
Citrus Blast is a disease that appears as black spots on your lemons. Control this disease with an anti-fungal spray.
Greasy spots leaf signs include black spots on the fruit’s rind, control greasy spots by removing and disposing of infected leaves, and applying a copper spray.
Foot root is a disease that causes lesions near the bud union and causes trees not to produce fruit. Using an anti-fungal soap will help with this problem.
Also, watch out for sooty mold, this is a black substance that causes the leaves to appear dirty. The solution is to use Insecticidal soap sprays that will help with the control of this disease.
Container Grown Lemon Trees
1. The Container Size
When growing a lemon tree from a container the container should be large enough for your tree to survive, the container size can be anywhere from 10 gallons or larger. The container should have holes to allow excess water to drain after giving your lemon tree a drink.
2. The Soil Type
The soil should be good garden soil that drains well but will hold the right amount of moisture.
3. Watering Methods
The soil should be kept moist and not waterlogged which can lead to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out somewhat before giving your lemon tree another drink.
4. Fertilizing Methods
The use of a slow-release citrus fertilizer will go a long way in keeping your lemon tree healthy along with fruit production.
5. Garden Insect Pest
Keep an eye out for garden insect pests and treat them as discussed earlier.
6. Diseases of lemon trees
Keep an eye out for diseases as well and treat them as discussed earlier.
When planting a lemon tree in a container the growth of that lemon tree will be limited because of being restricted to the container. It is best to look for dwarf varieties. As your container lemon tree needs high humidity, misting the leaves daily or placing your lemon tree on a pebble tray will help greatly.
The final word
If your lemon tree same as if it went on a prolonged vacation because of not producing lemons don’t despair there is still hope by understanding the nature of these trees and by following these tips your lemon tree will produce lemons in abundance allowing you to reap a good harvest.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.